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Man caught smuggling snakes on a plane

A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to community service after customs inspectors atStockholm Arlanda Airport found almost 50 reptiles, including 41 scorpions and five vipers, in his baggage.

Man caught smuggling snakes on a plane

The man, who is a snake breeder, travelled from China to Sweden with the reptiles.

But his trip ended at customs at Arlanda Airport when the contents of his baggage were revealed, according to a report in the Metro daily.

When officials opened his bag they found 41 scorpions, five vipers and three Chinese grass snakes.

The reptiles were packed in various plastic containers and two of the snakes were found to have died in transit.

The man has now been sentenced to 60 hours of community service for smuggling.

According to Attunda District Court, the man was aware of the risks of his venture.

While he claimed that he received the animals as a gift and took a spontaneous decision to transport them back to Sweden, the court noted that a courier package from Hong Kong had previous been stopped in transit to the man.

When the mailed package was seized and opened, officials found five snakes in two containers marked “toys”, two of which were king cobras, the world’s longest venomous snake and a protected species.

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Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim

Police on the island of Gotland removed a public sculpture from the Galgberget nature reserve near Visby on the grounds that it is just too creepy.

Swedish police remove sculpture mistaken for suicide victim
The gallows at Galgeberget. Photo: Artifex/WikiCommons
According to local news site Hela Gotland, someone was out for a stroll on Galgeberget (the Gallows Hill) on Wednesday when they saw what they thought was a body hanging after a suicide. Local police were contacted but when they went to investigate they instead found a sculpture by artist Jessica Lundeberg. 
 
The artwork, entitled ‘The Watcher in the Woods’, is a partially transparent plate sculpture that looks like a spooky little girl. 
 
 
Despite discovering that the suspected suicide victim was actually artwork, police determined that Lundeberg’s piece could scare others and thus took the sculpture down. 
 
“It was decided that if it were to remain, more people would likely be frightened in the same way,” Gotland police spokesman Ayman Aboulaich told Radio P4 Gotland. 
 
Lundeberg told Hela Gotland that the sculpture has been at Galgeberget since a public art project last summer and that this was the first time it had caused any concern. She said ‘The Watcher in the Woods’ was the only piece that was allowed to remain after the end of the project. But now it is there no more. 
 
 
Lundeberg has taken the sculpture back to her studio. While she hopes it will eventually return to Galgeberget, the artist told Hela Gotland it seems unlikely.  
 
She said that the sculpture was damaged by police. 
 
“It was ragged, dismantled and broken. I was horrified when I saw it,” she said. 
 
Police have reportedly promised to pay any necessary repair costs.
 
Although the person who reported the sculpture to the police has not spoken with the media, their jump to conclusions could perhaps be attributed to the nature reserve’s macabre history. Galgeberget is still home to gallows that were used to hang criminals for centuries. The last execution to be held at the site was in 1845, according to Hela Gotland
 
 
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